Not only is Asia the largest continent, it is also home to the oldest civilisation, the tallest peaks, the most populous cities and the tallest buildings. In recent decades, the higher education sector in Asia has thrived, spurred on by economic and population booms, attracting more international students to its shores. The cheapest Asian countries give international students a great education and experience – for as little as $2,900 per year.
With some of the world’s cutting-edge technologies emerging from South Korea, China and India, the continent is growing in opportunity – and hungry to absorb talent from abroad.
International students can benefit just as much from their host countries. The region has much to offer for everyone, whether you are a ‘western’ student looking for a new experience or a local from a neighboring country. Imagine taking midterm breaks for a hike in the Himalayas, scuba diving with turtles in the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, or exploring the land that birthed the global phenomenon of K-pop—all of this is just fast (and cheap ). ) flight away.
As exciting as it is, studying abroad doesn’t come for free. Unless you receive a scholarship, international students must pay for tuition, rent, food, and more.
Do not worry about it. If you are looking to study in Asia on a budget, this list is for you. We’ve rounded up the four cheapest Asian countries by tuition and cost of living:
The cheapest Asian countries for international students
First up is none other than the “Asian Tiger”: Taiwan. With a low annual tuition fee of $4,050Taiwan is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad.
This low price comes with high quality. Taiwan ranks 19th in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. Taiwan has 43 participants in the latest Asian university rankings, with five places in the top 50 – the highest-ranked institution is National Taiwan University (NTU), which ranks at number 19. It is also famed for its world-leading technology industry, with many universities located near its answer to the US’ Silicon Valley, Hsinchu Science Park.
Living in Taiwan is affordable, averaging around $2,900 a year for accommodation. A One-way fares range from NT$20 to NT$65 (about US$0.63 to US$2.05 at the time of writing). Local rice, noodle, soup or dumpling dishes are easy to find for under $10.
Choose to study in Malaysia and you will discover so much beyond campus – from colonial cities like Penang to the world’s oldest rainforests and beautiful beaches.
Malaysia has many international partner universities, such as the University of Nottingham in the UK and Monash University in Australia, which offer students the opportunity to earn British degrees but without the exorbitant cost of living in the UK.
That’s not all that makes Malaysia an ideal choice for international students. It also has one of the lowest cost of living. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, took first place in terms of affordability QS Best Student Cities 2016. Most students only need around US$3,550 per year to live comfortably in Malaysia. In terms of tuition, courses average $4,000 per academic year, with some courses being even cheaper.
In fact, the capital Kuala Lumpur was ranked as the second cheapest city for students and the cheapest in Asia in 2018 by QS Best Student Cities. Malaysia has 35 representatives in QS Asia University Ranking 2021, seven of which it is in the top 100. Among them is the Universiti Malaya 70th in the world.
Next on our list of the cheapest countries to study abroad is India. Although the cost of living in India is rising, it remains much lower than many other Asian countries including China, Japan and South Korea. Similar to most countries, the cost of living in the capital and other larger cities is higher than in smaller cities.
Corresponding QS World University Rankings, the average cost of living for a student in India is around $4,600 per year. This includes rent, meals and transport. A little tip: You can save even more food by shopping like the locals at markets and street vendors.
The cost of living is incredibly affordable. If you’re traveling by public transportation, it’s the equivalent of $0.29 one-way. However, tuition fees vary depending on the level of education and the institution chosen. Typically, tuition costs just under that $7,880 per year.
India is not only the second most populous country in the world, but also has the largest higher education system. The universities are excellent and your career growth is guaranteed. Some of today’s top entrepreneurs got their start at the famous Indian Institutes of Technology, like Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and the founders of Flipkart Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
Although English is not the primary language in India, it is widely used as the language of instruction in universities in India, especially at the postgraduate level.
Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies and the world’s fourth largest population. It accounts for 80% of all Muslims in Southeast Asia and has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Nevertheless TThe country is incredibly diverse, with hundreds of different ethnic groups, languages and cultures blending together to create a friendly and peaceful country. Tourists around the world love to visit this beautiful country with its 17,000 islands, mountains, rainforests, tranquil beaches and temples.
Higher education in Indonesia has grown tremendously since independence in 1945. As of 2022, there are around 3,000 private universities and 150 public universities in Indonesia for international students. Thirty Indonesian universities rank in the top 350 in the latest Asian rankings, including Gadjah Mada University number 57.
It’s over for now 6,000 international students studying in the country. Many come from the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Thailand.
Indonesia has become a top choice for international students as it has a lot to offer. The language is not difficult to learn, and there are many natural wonders that make it a beautiful place to learn.
It’s cheap too. It costs approx $8,500 live here for a year. The tuition fees are as low as $2,400 per year for some subjects.